The Polar Research Institute of China in Shanghai has commissioned Sonardyne underwater acoustic positioning technology for its new 122.5-metre Finnish-designed 14,300gt research vessel.

To be built at an as-yet un-named domestic yard and with an intended endurance of 20,000nm, it is due to begin service in 2018 and will carry out geological, geophysical, ecology and other Arctic sea studies of conditions likely to affect China’s climate conditions.

Facilities ordered includes a Ranger 2 Ultra-Short Baseline (USBL) assembly enabling simultaneous multiple tracking and positioning of deployed scientific equipment in both shallow and deep waters, including ROVs, AUVs and seafloor landers; it will also provide position referencing for a Kongsberg DP unit, allowing the vessel to remain in specific locations during scientific operations.

The equipment is being supplied by Sonardyne Asia in Singapore in association with the company’s in-country agent, China ORE of Qingdao.

By David Goodfellow